Listen to 405 Radio
  • No Events

    We'll get something in the diary soon

Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers

Mike Patton - The Solitude of Prime Numbers

by , 25 November 2011

In my last review for The 405 I disagreed with the late John Peel’s assessment that American producer Boom Bip should be regarded a modern-day Captain Beefheart. And in my head I thought to myself that if any contemporary musician should be compared to Beefheart it should probably Mike Patton. Here is a vocal acrobat who is so much more than the voice behind one of the most creative and interesting popular rock groups in recent times. In fact you get the feeling that Patton regarded Faith No More as something of a side project to the more eclectic but lesser known Mr Bungle. He even wore a Bungle t-shirt in the music video for FNM’s 'Epic'.

Alongside collaborators notably including experimental producer John Zorn, Mike Patton has continued to explore the limits of his musical horizons. Even at the peak of his fame, Mike Patton’s creative heart yearned to break out. In 1996, Patton released an album recorded entirely in hotel rooms on the road with Faith No More. Every sound on Adult Themes For Voice was made using his own, rather impressive, set of vocal chords. It is at once amazing and horrifying. Rather like a Bangkok sex show, the album leaves most people incredulous at the abilities of the human body yet too disturbed to want a repeat performance.

Later, Patton released Pranzo Oltranzista, another avant garde mixture of sounds, textures and unique ideas – another record for the purists.

The full title of this release speaks for itself, Music From The Film and Inspired by the Book The Solitude of Prime Numbers (La Solitudine Dei Numeri Primi). Patton had himself penned much of music for a recent film adaptation and the themes running through the story have underpinned Patton's approach to the composition of the work. The novel, by Italian author Paolo Giordano, tells the story of two individuals, Mattia and Alice, whose lives parallel each other in uncanny ways, like twin prime numbers: both lonely and unique but connected to each other.

This is in many ways one of Paton’s most simplistic releases, although it’s still rich with ideas. Individual instruments dominate one at a time, punching sharp forcible themes with the most basic percussion providing battering each point home. This is indeed an avant-garde release, but not as leftfield as Patton’s other solo records. It’s a disappointment that Patton doesn’t utilise his considerable vocal talents - these solo pieces lack the playful personality and humour that shone in with Faith No More. But with his solo albums, it’s clear that Faith No More and, later, Tomahawk, were mere hobbies.

Rating: 6/10

Purchase and listen

Don't Miss Out

Related Reviews

  • Imbogodom - And They Turned Not When They Went

    Imbogodom - And They Turned Not When They Went

    by Jonathan Greer

    Imbogodom is the name of the collaborative project between Alexander Tucker and Daniel Beban, two musicians working in similar fields, but based at either end of the planet – Tucker in London and Beban in Wellington, New Zealand. [read more]

  • Dave Hughes - Despite The Blackout

    Dave Hughes - Despite The Blackout

    by Katy Cousins

    I love late Autumn. I’ve stopped mourning festival season and started getting excited about Yuletide and, best of all, my favourite Scottish musicians’ no longer sound cold and out of place in the Southern sunshine. With the nights firmly drawn in and the country erupting in weekly episodes of civil unrest, what better time for a folk punk album to galvanise the troops? [read more]

  • The Dø – Both Ways Open Jaws

    The Dø – Both Ways Open Jaws

    by Andy Johnson

    What's next for an artist after they propel their sometimes recklessly experimental début album to the top of a national chart? Back in 2008, Franco-Finnish art-pop duo The Dø achieved exactly that when their deeply flawed, but occasionally inspired, first album A Mouthful became the first English-language record by a French act to hit #1 in France. [read more]

  • Phenomenal Handclap Band - Form and Control

    Phenomenal Handclap Band - Form and Control

    by Tom Baker

    Dear Trading Standards, I would like to complain about the false advertising perpetrated by the name of the American indie ensemble <strong>Phenomenal Handclap Band</strong>. Not about the use of the word "phenomenal", as I know this is entirely subjective; my problem is that I was expecting at least some jaunty, fun-time hand-claps somewhere amongst the eleven tracks on their most recent album. And yet there are none. Do I have a case? [read more]


Follow Us

Recommended Posts

Popular Posts

Mailing List

Sign up to our weekly mailing list.